Mark Halperin’s Three Things

Mark Halperin’s three things to watch for in presidential politics for Wednesday, December 3.

1. Watch Barack Obama’s press conference at the Hilton in Chicago, scheduled to start at 11:40 am ET. Pay attention to the questions reporters ask him and how he answers them. In the past two weeks the president-elect has held a couple of pressers to make Cabinet and staff announcements but he’s limited the number of questions he has taken. Keep an eye on how long he entertains the press today.

2. Watch the Obama press conference for the unveiling of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as the incoming administration’s choice for commerce secretary. Clearly, the president-elect is trying to describe the job in a way that suggests it’s going to have a bigger and more significant role than it has in past administrations. Watch to see how he frames that and if the press and the public buy it.

3. Watch the continuing discussions on Capitol Hill and at the White House on what to do about the auto industry. The Big Three automakers submitted their plans yesterday for how would spend proposed federal bailout money to sustain and grow their businesses and are set to testify before congressional hearings later this week. Watch to see if there’s any progress there to deal with this issue — whole or in part — in a lame duck session of Congress in December rather than landing in full on lap of the Obama administration come January.

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